Ours Is Real.

I’ve seen a lot of articles circulating social media the last few months about healthy relationships and facts about “real” couples. It seems to be a bunch of bologna if I’m going to be blunt about it. They are all full of butterflies and fantasies that they claim to last beyond the stage of puppy dog love. If it’s true than shit, I’m in the wrong relationship but it just seems bogus. Other than the random millionaire that can afford a dozen roses 12 times a year, Coach bags, and 5-course dinners spur of the moment, the lust stage, as I call it, eventually fades and real love sets in.

Although I’m no expert on love, relationships, or people in general; that’s where I believe most relationships end. When you start peeling away the mask you’ve put on since day one. The extra makeup, the extensions, the sexy pajamas. All that superficial stuff doesn’t last forever, sorry guys. And ladies, he’s not always going to put the toilet seat down, he’s not going to stay clean shaven every day. Sometimes instead of changing his underwear, he’ll turn them inside out. And if you can’t accept it, than I guess that’s when you start the process all over again.

Our sixth anniversary of “at first sight” dating is soon approaching and I don’t know what to do to celebrate it. Although I’m one of those cliche hopeless romantics and would love a beautiful bouquet of flowers, chocolates, a hotel suite with a hot tub, complementary wine, and heck maybe even a ring..I know it probably won’t happen. He’s a little more laid back (times 30) than that. On a side note because if anyone is reading this some would replace my term of “laid back” with “cheap.” Sure, cheap is a usable word I guess. But flowers do die, keeping the electricity on is more important than a luxury hotel, and have you been in a jewelry store lately? Cha-ching.

So, the last handful of years haven’t been necessarily memorable or anything on the anniversary front. That doesn’t go to say that they weren’t cherished though. Coming up here to our sixth, I’m not sure what to do. I’ve heard that healthy relationships thrive on surprises and excitement. Which we definitely lack but is that such a bad thing? We have full time jobs, bills, responsibilities. Are we in a rut? I wouldn’t call it that. I’d call it life with a partner.

We are at the point (and have been for a few years) where we don’t need to “impress” each other. We don’t need to put on a facade of the “better us” because we accept each other for our faults just as well as we do for the best qualities in our personalities. There’s no reason to it. We’re completely ourselves around one another.

With that being said: How do you make your anniversary any more special than the day before? I’d love to hear some ideas.

My Memorial Day Weekend Was Memorable.

10410096_10152414310318363_1536059176270689246_nAs you can see, I haven’t blogged in a good two or so weeks. I don’t know where to start. We went on what I’d call our ‘first real vacation’ over the holiday weekend. I’ve been to a few places before. My parents, boyfriend, and I went to Eau Claire over Labor Day last year so I suppose I should also classify that as a vacation too but..anyways.

10308161_10152414310113363_7604619791352627641_n“C” and I went to Duluth, MN for a nice 4-day getaway. Set aside the backseat driving, our time there, during, and back was absolutely wonderful. On Friday, we didn’t have anything planned since we took our time to get there so we mosied our way down and through Canal Park. This is officially one of my most favorite places in the little bit of the world that I’ve seen. It was almost movie like. Kids were rushing with melting ice cream cones to watch the ships enter the harbor. A little old man was feeding seagulls bread. Tourists were gawking over the lighthouse at the end of the strip. The temperature was 72 degrees with a breeze.

10169411_10152418652473363_927707804006529661_nOn Saturday, we toured the well-known Glensheen mansion and took a cruise aboard the Vista Fleet. With my camera acting as a necklace, I couldn’t stop snapping memories one by one. Don’t worry, I made sure to cherish the moments as well. I know that some people will tell you to live in the moment which is great advice and I like to live by that. 10363843_10152418651168363_3801365417157104304_n But moments aren’t forever. They fade. They are lost. Days, weeks, and years drift by so quickly that we could never expect our minds to remember the little things. Those moments are the ones I photograph. I don’t need to remember my face or his on those days. I don’t need to remember the breeze on my back. But I do and I will need to remember the view. The images that I see will always bring me back to the moments even when I’m old and wrinkly.

To end a beautiful day on the water, we ventured to Enger Park. It’s at the tip-top part of the Duluthian hills. You can see it from Lake Superior as a little thimble at the top of a hill but when you’re up there, after your ears have popped, and you’ve climbed the six flights of stairs, you feel like you’re on top of the world. It’s absolutely breathtaking. To be able to take in North Shore to the Areial Lift Bridge on Canal Park, out into the emptiness of Lake Superior, over the railroad tracks and to Wisconsin is just beautiful. There isn’t any other way to describe it other than that. Simple and peaceful. Life isn’t so hard when you’re on top of a hill looking at all there is to offer.

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1554408_10152418647558363_7867321417357191154_nSunday, oh Sunday. It was an adventure to say the least. We traveled about 45 minutes to the north of Duluth along the scenic North Shore route 61. Our first stop was Gooseberry Falls. And to sum it up in one word: breathtaking. I know it sounds like I’m repeating myself adjectivally throughout this post but everything really was “that amazing!” Gooseberry Falls is one of those places that everyone should have on their Bucket Lists. Once you make your way through the little bit of a hike to get there, you’re presented with children and families embracing all the Falls have to offer. It’s gorgeous. We sat on a few rocks right near the underside of the falls and just listened to the water crashing below. 10406759_10152418655333363_957176214802948853_nI sat quietly observing the children playing and the adventure seekers climbing the cliffs. I watched as a man and his dog fitted with booties hopped from rock to rock. We climbed our way down to the “rapids” and slowly but surely took a walk through the water, over the slippery rocks. Feeling the pressure on our ankles and calfs, moving against the current. Moments like those are the ones you smile at while looking into the nothingness off your deck after a long day at work. It was something that I hope to never forget. We would love to make another trip to eastern Minnesota just to see these again.

10312838_10152418653823363_4341966486862979581_nReady for another awe-inspiring view? Split Rock Lighthouse is only about 10 minutes from Gooseberry Falls. How can two of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen be so close in proximity? Jackpot! Lighthouses are my weakness. Really anything sea or ship related to be quite frank. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the history or the mystery. Whatever it may be, bring me to a lighthouse, show me something with an anchor on it and we’ll be best friends until the end.

10298877_10152414309893363_3234319371217711934_nThis past weekend was filled with so much love and laughter, that I can’t even express it in a blog post but I have learned one thing: ENJOY IT. I feel so often that I worry too much about the future and over-analyze my past. I compare myself to others constantly and am afraid that I’m not living my life to it’s full potential. I’m making a proactive effort to change my way of thinking. I’ve been reading so many “find yourself” articles lately, that I really do need to find myself before life continues to drift on by as quickly as it has been. Screw what everyone else is doing. I don’t want my biggest regret to be worrying about everyone and everything else, not going on those trips or spending that money. Not buying that lake property. Not moving to that city and getting that promotion.

So, after a long awaited much deserved (if I do say so myself) vacation to Duluth, MN – live it up people. Make memories with those you love. Take pictures. Take tons of pictures. Laugh, slip, fall down, and get back up. Climb that extra flight to get to the top. Fight for your happiness and make damn sure that smile is real.10309209_10152414281593363_8809544577189953159_n

Much love. -Oar